EBS 316: Topic 3: Innovative and Effective Teaching Methods



Unit Outline


Session 1: Conventional Methods

Session 2: Inquiry-Based learning and Guided Discovery

Session 3: Concept Mapping

Session 4: Cooperative learning and Peer Learning

Session 5: Project Method

Session 6: Didactic Teaching


Dear learner, you are once again welcome to this unit. I hope you understood what we discussed in Unit 2. Teaching methods may be defined simply as a way of carrying out actual teaching in the ‘classroom’. They are the means by which the teacher attempts to impart the desired learning or experience. The concern is with the way the teacher organizes and uses teaching techniques or skills, subject matter, teaching aids or resources to meet teaching objectives. The particular method that a teacher uses is determined by a number of factors. These include; content to be taught, objectives which the teacher plans to achieve, availability of teaching and learning resources and the ability and willingness of the teacher to improvise if convectional teaching aids are not available, evaluation and follow-up activities, individual learner differences and size of the class.



By the end of this unit, you will be able to:

By the end of this unit, you should be able to:

  1. Describe a classroom situation where you would use any three conventional methods of teaching.
  2. State at least two advantages and disadvantages of each method of inquiry-based learning and guided discovery.
  3. State any three characteristics of concept mapping.
  4. Explain cooperative and peer learning.
  5. Describe project method.
  6. Define didactic teaching.






Welcome to the first session of unit 3. I hope you have prepared cognitively to enjoy this lesson. You have already learnt about instructional objectives which dealt with the three domains of learning. We are going to now look into conventional methods of teaching. This session will focus on the definitions, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of different conventional methods.



By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  1. Describe any three types of conventional methods
  2. Explain any three characteristics of brainstorming and lecture method.


  • Conventional methods

They are the traditional way of teaching. Many teachers adopt these methods of teaching often. These are, demonstration, discussion, lecture and role play.



A demonstration is a method of teaching whereby the teacher performs a task step-by-step so that the learner would be able to complete the same task independently. A method of instruction where the instructor by actually performing an operation or doing a job shows the students what to do, how to do it, and through explanations brings out why, where, and when it is done. The purpose of a demonstration is to provide a means by which the teacher can explain or clarify certain parts of the context quickly and economically. It is essential that the students should be involved actively. One way in which this can be achieved is through questioning as the demonstration progresses. Whenever possible the teacher should also give students an opportunity to set up the apparatus required for carrying out a certain procedure. The students should be organized in such a way that every student is able to observe the demonstration. Demonstration can also be used to explain an experimental set up before the students begin to set up their own apparatus and/or materials to be used are not enough for the whole class; or when the materials are too dangerous or equipment too delicate to be entrusted to the students.

Characteristics of demonstration

  • It involves active participation of students and teachers at the same time.
  • It encourages maximum amount of participation among students.
  • The interest or zeal of student is maintained.
  • Students display competency of the skills and concepts they observed.
  • Demonstration method through group participation develop keen observation power and scientific reasoning in students.
  • Students are gathered round, prepared, observing and listening to the teacher whiles demonstration is going on.

Uses of demonstration

  • To teach manipulative operations or procedures.
  • To teach troubleshooting.
  • To illustrate principles.
  • To teach operation or functioning of equipment.
  • To teach teamwork.
  • To set standards of workmanship.
  • To teach safety procedures.

Advantages of demonstrations

  • It helps in using various senses to make learning permanent.
  • It develops interest in the learners and motivates them for their active participation.
  • It helps in achieving psycho-motor skills.
  • Any simple or complex skill becomes easy to understand.

Disadvantages of demonstrations

  • It can be used only for skills subjects.
  • Only the attention of the learners is invited towards the activity. Learners are not free to discuss about it.



A lecture is an oral presentation purposely to present information or teach people about a particular subject. A formal or semi-formal discourse is which the instructor presents a series of events, facts, or principles, explores a problem or explains relationships. Lecture method is the most commonly used method of teaching. involves giving factual information with very little or no participation by the learners. It is the method of relaying factual information which includes principles, concepts and ideas about a given topic. In a lecture the instructor tells, explains, describes or relates whatever information the students are required to learn through listening and understanding. It is therefore teacher-centered. The instructor is very active, doing all the talking. Students on the other hand are very inactive, doing all the listening. Despite the popularity of lectures, the lack of active involvement of students limits its usefulness as a method of instruction. The lecture method of instruction is recommended for students with very little knowledge or limited background knowledge on the topic. It is also useful for presenting an organized body of new information to the learner. To be effective in promoting learning, the lecture must involve some discussions and, question and answer period to allow students to be involved actively.


Characteristics of lecture

  • This method is convenient and usually make the most sense for large classes.
  • This method is the oldest teaching method in education.
  • It is teacher centered method; most of the activities are done by the instructor.
  • Students learn better through listening and taking notes.
  • The new knowledge is linked with previous knowledge.

Qualities of a good lecture

  1. A good lecture should not be too long as to exceed the students attention span (up to 25


  1. A good lecture should address a single theme.
  2. In a good lecture technical terms are carefully explained.
  3. Familiar examples and analogies are given.
  4. A good lecture establishes fluency in content.
  5. A good lecture uses illustrations and examples.
  6. A good lecture builds on existing knowledge.
  7. A good lecture employs a variety of approaches.


Uses of a lecture

  1. To orient students.
    2. To introduce a subject.
    3. To give directions on procedures.
    4. To present basic material.
    5. To introduce a demonstration, discussion, or performance.
    6. To illustrate application of rules, principles, or concepts.
    7. To review, clarify, emphasis or summaries.


Advantages of lecture

  • It is quite an economical method because it is possible to handle a large number of students at a time and no laboratory equipment, aids, materials are required.
  • Using this method, the knowledge can be imparted to students quickly and prescribed syllabus can be covered in short time.
  • It is quite attractive and easy to follow and also by this method teacher can develop his own style of teaching and exposition.
  • It simplifies the task of teacher as he/she dominates the lesson and students just passively listen.
  • Some good lectures, delivered by the teacher may motivate, instigate and inspire a student for creative thinking.
  • Teachers are able to enliven facts and ideas that seem tedious in the text and clarify issues relating to confusing points
  • Teacher is known to be an expert in a specific area or topic
  • It encourages and allows for deductive reasoning.


Disadvantages of lecture

  • The student’s participation is negligible and students become passive recipients of information.
  • It is not certain if the students are able to concentrate and understand the subject matter being taught to them by teacher.
  • Knowledge is imparted so rapidly that weak students are not have a full grasp of what is being taught in an attempt to cover too much material in given time
  • It is presumed that all students are learning at the same pace.
  • It is not suitable to higher levels of learning.
  • It is an undemocratic and authoritarian method as students cannot challenge or question the verdict of the teacher.
  • It does not provide for corrective feedback and remedial help to slow learners.


However, this method is most effective for transmission of large amounts of matter. In spite of this criticism this method is still very useful an instructional technique as long as it is used appropriately.


Role Play

In many courses, role playing can be used to develop empathy, to enliven a historical, philosophical, or literary topic, or to provide a concrete enactment of an abstract topic. Volunteers are asked to portray certain roles and given sufficient information on the context to enable them to improvise dialogue and actions. In some classes, the instructors have attended class in the role of a character and have enlisted colleagues to join them in enacting a situation for the students. The class is asked to play the role of those in the situation as well, asking questions or engaging in dialogue in ways that would be appropriate for the setting.


Role play is any speaking activity when you either put yourself into somebody’s shoes, or when you stay in your own shoes but put yourself into an imaginary situation.  Role play is a technique that allows students to explore realistic situations by interacting with other people in a managed way in order to develop experience and knowledge in different strategies in a supported environment. In role plays, participants use their own experiences to play a real life situation. When done well, role plays increase the participants self-confidence, give them the opportunity to understand or even feel empathy for other people’s viewpoints or roles, and usually end with practical answers, solutions or guidelines.


Role plays are useful for exploring and improving interviewing techniques and examining the complexities and potential conflicts of group meetings. They help participants to consolidate different lessons in one setting and are good energizers. However, role plays can be time-consuming and their success depends on the willingness of participants to take active part. Some students may feel a role play is too exposing, threatening or embarrassing. This reluctance may be overcome at the outset by careful explanation of the objectives and the outcome. Some role plays can generate strong emotions amongst the participants. It is therefore essential that a role play is followed by a thorough debriefing. This provides the opportunity for the trainer and the participants to raise and assess new issues.


Characteristics of role play

  • Learner places themselves in another’s shoes.
  • Role-play should build on the learner’s previous knowledge and experience.
  • Role-play enables people to experience a situation from the past or to prepare for a future situation.
  • Role-play is valuable in learning situations where it is not reasonable to practice the required skills directly in the field. For example, role playing a public meeting with rate citizens or a child protection worker removing a child from their homes.
  • Debriefing and reflection are important aspects for a successful learning situation.


Uses of role play

  1. Exploring and improving interviewing techniques and examining complexities and

potential conflicts of groups.
2. To consolidate different lessons in one setting.


Advantages of role play

  • Student interest in the topic is raised.
  • Active participation.
  • Long term retention.
  • It enhances communication and interpersonal skills.
  • It helps individuals to learn to accept both their own feelings and those of others.
  • It develops confidence and self-efficacy.


Disadvantages of role play

  • Can be time-consuming.
  • Can lack focus unless well planned and monitored.
  • Embarrassment for some students.
  • Less effective in large groups.
  • Can be unpredictable in terms of outcomes.
  • Role play may awaken previously subdued or suppressed emotions.



Brainstorming is a group of creativity techniques by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members. Another scholastic group defines brainstorming as a method of eliciting ideas without judgement or filtering. In brainstorming, the teaching group is divided into smaller groups, which are then told to come up with solutions, questions or factors. The groups think up their ideas simultaneously so that each member can write down their ideas. It is important to emphasise to the students that even the craziest ideas can be presented during brainstorming and that all critique is forbidden during the brainstorming phase. The ideas are criticised after the brain-storming session. After the ideas are assembled, the best suggestions are then found by voting or otherwise filtering the ideas. The purpose of a brainstorming session is to discover new ideas and responses very quickly. It is particularly a good way of getting bright ideas.

Students are encouraged to let ideas flow freely, building on and improving from previous ideas. No idea, however crazy, should be rejected. These ideas are listed exactly as they are expressed on a board or written on bits of paper. The combination of swiftly generated ideas usually leads to a very animated and energizing session. Even the more reserved students should feel bold enough to contribute. The purpose of listing responses is to collect existing experiences and thoughts. It is useful to collect answers to questions when you expect much repetition in the responses. After a brainstorm session, the ideas can be discussed further and evaluated, for example listing the best options in a systematic way. Ideas can be grouped and analyzed so that they belong to the group rather than individuals.


Characteristics of brainstorming

  • Brainstorming is not instructor centered.
  • Ideas are brought forth and discussed.
  • Brainstorming withholds criticisms.
  • Brainstorming welcomes wild ideas.
  • Brainstorming goes for quality.


Advantages of brainstorming

  • It moves participants out of conflict to consensus.
  • The cost of brainstorming session is very low as compared to other ways of eliciting ideas.
  • The biggest advantage is the high number of generated ideas.
  • Participants see each other’s ideas, which can also inspire them to come up with new ones.

Disadvantages of brainstorming

  • It produces ideas without screening.
  • It is time wasting technique.
  • It can produce lots of production blocking. Production blocking is the tendency for one individual during a brainstorming to block or inhibit other people from offering ideas.





Discussion involves two-way communication between participants that is used to reach instructional objectives. In the classroom situation an instructor and students all participate in discussion. During discussion, the instructor spends some time listening while the students spend sometimes talking. The discussion is, therefore, a more active learning experience for the students than the lecture. A discussion is the means by which people share experiences, ideas and attitudes. As it helps to foster students involvement in what they are learning. Discussions may be used in the classroom for the purpose of lesson development, making students apply what they have learnt or to monitor students learning by way of feedback. It may contribute to desired attitudinal changes. Discussion is an important component any teaching /learning situation. It allows students to share their ideas. It can be used at the beginning of a topic to ascertain students’ pre conceived notions of the subject matter or towards the end of a topic by presenting students with a new situation and asking them to explain it in terms of what they have just learned. Discussion is important to learning in all disciplines because it helps students process information rather than simply receive it. The goal of a discussion may be to produce an solution, to analyse a situation or to present various perspectives on the subject, for example. The teacher may start the teaching discussion by asking questions or using a stimulus (a story, a newspaper clip, a piece of news, a video, etc.) to inspire discussion. The teachers’ role is that of facilitator.


Characteristics of discussion

  • Students actively participates in the lesson.
  • Students have the opportunity to criticize and evaluate each other’s viewpoint.
  • Logical and meaningful criticism are accepted.
  • Students should anchor the discussion themselves.
  • Teacher and students are involved in the lesson, but teacher acts as a facilitator.


Uses of discussion

  1. To stimulate thinking and interest and to secure student participation.
    2. To emphasize main teaching points.
    3. To supplement lectures, reading, or laboratory exercises.
    4. To determine how well student understands concepts and principles.
    5. To prepare students for application of theory of procedure.
    6. To summarize, clarify points or review.


Advantages of discussion

  • Allows less experienced learners to benefit from more experienced nurses’ knowledge
  • Can stimulate critical thinking
  • Utilises student knowledge and experience.
  • Results in more permanent learning because of high degree of student participation.
  • Increase students interest.
  • It enables sharing of thoughts, solving problems together and analysing subjects from various perspectives.


Disadvantages of discussion

  • It is time consuming.
  • Not adaptable to all teaching-learning situations.
  • If it is not properly guided, a discussion can degenerate into a consideration of inappropriate topics adding confusion rather than clarification to the lesson.
  • Sometimes, it can be difficult to keep on track.
  • It may be difficult to deal with emotions that arise from different views.
  • It can be challenging to prevent some students from monopolizing the discussion.
  • It takes a great deal of preparation if done correctly.


Self-Assessment Questions

Exercise 3.1

  1. Discuss any four conventional methods used in teaching. (definition, characteristics, use, advantage and disadvantage)





Welcome to the second session of unit 3. I hope you have prepared cognitively to enjoy this lesson. You have already learnt about conventional methods of teaching. We are going to now look into inquiry-based learning and guided discovery. This session will focus on the definitions and explanation, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of inquiry-based learning and guided discovery. Gird up and be ready for this lesson.



By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  1. Explain inquiry-based and guided discovery learning
  2. State the characteristics of both inquiry-based and guided discovery learning
  3. Describe any two advantages and disadvantages of inquiry-based learning
  4. Describe any two advantages and disadvantages of guided discovery


2.1 Inquiry-based learning

Inquiry-based learning is an approach to learning that emphasizes the student’s role in the learning process. It can be defined as a form of active learning that starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios-rather than simply presenting established facts or portraying a smooth path to knowledge. The process is often assisted by a facilitator. Inquirers will identify and research issues and questions to develop their knowledge or solutions. It starts from a place of questioning. Students may spontaneously ask questions or be prompted to ask questions about a particular topic. They might research to find answers, engage in activities that will help them pursue answers, or work collaboratively in pursuit of answers; regardless, all learning stems from these questions. By engaging in inquiry-based learning, students come to understand that they can take responsibility for their learning. Taking part in inquiry-based learning means learning how to learn – how to formulate insightful questions and go about pursuing answers to them.


Characteristics of Inquiry-based learning

  • Students are engaged with complex problems or scenarios.
  • Students direct the line of enquiry and the methods employed.
  • The enquiry requires students to draw on existing knowledge and to identify their required learning needs.
  • Tasks stimulate curiosity in students, encouraging them to actively explore and seek new evidence.
  • Responsibility falls to the students for analyzing and presenting the evidence in appropriate ways and in support of their own response to the problem.


Advantages of Inquiry-based learning

  • Students’ engagement is high because they are actively working to solve a problem.
  • Students develop as critical thinkers rather than sponges that gain information the way they are presented.
  • Teacher observation provides students with feedback and ensures their learning meets curricular outcomes.
  • Pre-assessments provide the teacher a window into students’ understanding of contents to be explored.
  • Portfolios allow students choice of the work they want to have evaluated.
  • Because inquiry-based learning starts with questions, students are often very authentically motivated to learn. Since they are driving the learning, they are studying the things they care and wonder about the most; they will also acquire many other skills along the way.


Disadvantages of Inquiry-based learning

  • Requires much time and efforts to prepare for and conduct experiments.
  • Constraints curriculum, students’ abilities and classroom structure.
  • Incorrect outcomes from an experiment may result in anxiety.
  • Students may find peer-assessments difficult due to the competitive nature of some schools.


2.2 Guided discovery

Guided discovery is directing someone to uncover or reveal something. The term “Guided Discovery” refers to a teaching and learning environment where students are actively participating in discovering knowledge. Guided discovery learning combines pointing the way to understanding or problem-solving by a guide with the discovery of facts, relationships, and solutions by students themselves, as they explore, manipulate objects, discuss, or perform experiments, drawing upon their own experience and existing knowledge. The goal of discovery is to facilitate deep learning on the part of the students – learning that has its basis in fundamental understanding and often arises from viewing a problem from multiple perspectives. Guided discovery is regarded by many teachers as an important tool. It encourages independence, makes learning more memorable, and if analysis is done in groups is a meaningful communicative task. It is important, however, to understand that some learners are resistant to this approach. Guided-discovery problems can be incorporated into lecture, lab, and field courses. They fit beautifully into the exploration phase of the learning cycle approach to teaching. Thus they work best when they are assigned before any lectures or readings on the topic. Because guided-discovery problems are time-consuming and foster deep learning, they are best used to teach course material that is especially important or conceptually difficult.


Characteristics of guided discovery

  • A context and frame for student learning through the provision of learning outcomes
  • Learners have responsibility for exploration of content necessary for understanding through self-directed learning
  • Study guides are used to facilitate and guide self-directed learning
  • Understanding is reinforced through application in problem oriented, task based, and work-related experiences


Advantages of guided discovery

  • Discovery learning fosters curiosity
  • Discovery learning builds on learner’s prior knowledge and understanding
  • Discovery learning can be motivating, it incorporates the individuals pleasure of successfully solving problems and recalling information


Disadvantages of Guided Discovery

  • Guided discovery prevents dull students from participating in class
  • It is too time consuming for all academic activities (for example mathematical operations), there are not enough hours in a school year for students to ‘unearth’ everything on their own.
  • Guided discovery requires that the teacher be prepared for too many corrections, a lot of things individuals discover for themselves turn out to be wrong (trial and error)


Self-Assessment Questions

Exercise 3.2

  1. Describe three characteristics of inquiry-based learning.
  2. Explain any two advantages and disadvantages of guided discovery.



Hi there! I hope you are having a nice time learning this unit. This is session 3 of unit 3 where we concentrate on concept mapping. We are going to delve into the definition, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of concept mapping.



By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  1. State the types of concept mapping.
  2. Explain at least three characteristics of concept mapping.
  3. State at least two advantages and disadvantages of concept mapping.


3.1 Concept mapping

Concept mapping is a great way to build upon previous knowledge by connecting new information back to it. This post explores the uses of concept mapping and provides tools for creating concept maps on the computer. It is a visual organization and representation of knowledge (ideas and concepts). They show the relationship between ideas and they are usually represented in squares and circles. You create a concept map by writing key words (sometimes enclosed in shapes such as circles, boxes, triangles, etc.) and then drawing arrows between the ideas that are related. Then you add a short explanation by the arrow to explain how the concepts are related. Concept maps are especially useful for students who learn better visually, although they can benefit any type of learner. They are a powerful study strategy because they help you see the big picture: by starting with higher-level concepts, concept maps help you chunk information based on meaningful connections. In other words, knowing the big picture makes details more significant and easier to remember.

Concept maps work very well for classes or content that have visual elements or in times when it is important to see and understand relationships between different things. They can also be used to analyze information and compare and contrast. They enable teachers to tell at a glance if students have a deep understanding or are struggling with the content and concepts being studied. Concept maps aid learning by explicitly integrating new and old knowledge and students can assess understanding or diagnose misunderstanding through drawing concept maps.

Concept maps are designed with a range of difficulty, all dependent on the given topic (how the parts relate to the whole and also what information is not yet learned) along with the individual’s preferred learning style and understanding level. Thus, the information on a map varies to build understanding of the concept for the given audience. It is also essential to understand how these maps can enhance learning and how individual learners comprehend learning


Types of concept mapping


Spider Concept Mapping


Characteristics of concept mapping

  • They have a propositional structure: they are linked by words and phrases (linking words and linking phrases) to explain the connection between the ideas.
  • They are hierarchical in nature: they begin with the main topic and branch into smaller specific topics
  • They present only the most important ideas of a concept- they contain the relevant portions of a topic.


Advantages of concept mapping

  • They aid in creating a presentation in a logical manner.
  • They make reading and interpretation of concepts much easier.
  • They also help students especially visual learners to grasp learning concepts more easily.
  • They can also be used as assessment tools.


Disadvantages of concept mapping

  • Sometimes, some relationships are difficult to interpret in some concept maps. E.g: spider maps.
  • Some concept maps discourage critical thinking. E.g:
  • They are also not suitable for teaching young learners. For instance, lower primary students may lack the skills to interpret concept maps.
  • Not all information about a particular topic can be included in a concept map.



Self-Assessment Questions

Exercise 3.3

  1. Draw the diagrammatical representation of the three various type of concept mapping using samples of ICT.
  2. State any three characteristics of concept mapping.
  3. Explain any two advantages of concept mapping.





Hello dear learner! You are warmly welcomed to the fourth session of the third unit of types of curriculum studies in computing. I hope you are very much poised to start learning something new about your teaching profession. We have already discussed the other types of methods of teaching. However, co-operative learning and peer teaching is very important for this unit.



By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  1. Describe cooperative learning and peer teaching
  2. State at least two characteristics each of co-operative learning and peer learning
  3. Explain one advantage and disadvantage of co-operative learning
  4. Explain one advantage and disadvantage of peer teaching



4.1 Co-operative learning

In co-operative learning, students work together in small groups to complete a structured task or goal. Co-operative learning is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Each member of a team is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Co-operative learning is the process of breaking a classroom of students into small groups so they can discover a new concept together and help each other learn with the aim of completing tasks collectively toward academic goals and objectives. Unlike individual learning, which can be competitive in nature, students learning cooperatively can capitalize on one another’s resources and skills.


Characteristics of co-operative learning

  • Student work together on common tasks or learning activities that are best handled through group work.
  • Students work together in small groups containing two to five members.
  • Students use cooperative, pro-social behavior to accomplish their common tasks or learning activities.
  • Students are positively interdependent. Activities are structured so that students need each other to accomplish their common tasks or learning activities.
  • Students are individually accountable or responsible for their work or learning.


Advantages of co-operative learning

  • Raise achievement of students.
  • Build positive relationships among students – important for creating a learning community that values diversity.
  • Provide experiences that develop both good learning skills and social skills.


Disadvantages of co-operative learning

  • It creates a grading system which could be considered unfair.
  • It creates new systems of socialization structure that are not always beneficial.
  • It places a teacher’s responsibility onto their students.
  • It creates a system of dependency.



Peer teaching essentially refers to students learning with and from each other. Peer teaching

is also an educational practice in which students interact with other students to attain educational goals. Students learn a great deal by explaining their ideas to others and by participating in activities in which they can learn from their peers. Students will engage themselves intellectually, emotionally and socially in constructive conversation and learn by talking and questioning each other’s views and reaching consensus or dissent.


Characteristics of peer-teaching

  • Ideas come from different sources.
  • Students feel free to ask questions.
  • Opinions are debated on and final conclusions are made.
  • Variety of models are used.


Advantages of peer-teaching

  • To create a sense of belonging among peers.
  • Increases confidence among peers.
  • Student develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Peer teaching also develops communication, interpersonal and teamwork skills.
  • Peer teaching also strongly motivates learning.
  • Peer teaching optimises student learning outcomes.
  • It can help peers gain confidence and sharpen their skills


Disadvantages of peer-teaching

  • Students may go off task as they are working with their friends.
  • Individuals may not learn as much because leaders are not as experienced as the teacher.
  • It does not promote positive relationship between students and teachers since they are mostly working with their colleagues.


Self-Assessment Questions

Exercise 3.4

  1. Define Cooperative learning.
  2. List three characteristics of peer teaching.
  3. State any two advantages of co-operative learning.
  4. State any two disadvantages of peer teaching.






Hello dear learner! You are warmly welcomed to the fifth session of the third unit of innovative and effective teaching methods. I hope you are very much poised to start learning something new about your teaching profession. We have already discussed the many types of teaching methods like conventional, peer teaching, inquiry-based learning, cooperative learning, etc. This chapter seeks to elaborate on the definition, characteristics, the pros and cons of project methods.



By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  1. Explain project method
  2. Describe at least three characteristics of project method
  3. State one advantage and disadvantage of project method


5.1 Project method

The project method is a teacher-facilitated collaborative approach in which students acquire and apply knowledge and skills to define and solve realistic problems using a process of extended inquiry. Projects are student-centered, following standards, parameters, and milestones clearly identified by the instructor. Students have control over the planning, refining, presenting, and reflecting of the project. Through projects, students are engaged in innovation and creativity. Project method requires that the participants work actively and commit themselves to the project. The durations of the projects may differ, and they can be guided in various ways. The teacher’s role is to support and guide the work. The teacher should not give the groups any straight answers, but instead should let the students come up with their own solutions. It is a student-centered pedagogy that involves a dynamic classroom approach in which it is believed that students acquire a deeper knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems. It is a style of active learning and inquiry-based learning. It also contrasts with paper-based, rote memorization or teacher-based instruction which presents established facts by instead posing questions, problems or scenarios. In project method, students can develop their self study activities: they will get used to educate beyond the program, to use the knowledge, to solve communicative, informative problems, to have an opportunity to study cultural- informative competencies. That is why it is considered very effective.


Characteristics of project work

  • Learners are at the centre of the learning process.
  • Project method focuses on learning that is aligned with assessment standards.
  • Project method has real-world connections.
  • Learners demonstrate knowledge through a product of performance.
  • C.T supports and enhances learning.


Advantages of project work

  • Gives more personal investment into an activity.
  • Deeper understanding of material.
  • Helps develop independence, creativity and self-control.
  • Students learn to listen to others’ ideas and opinions.
  • It helps students teach themselves.


Disadvantages of project method

  • Students may not feel encouraged to finish their work.
  • There can be a lack of interest in their project subject which would lead them not to want to participate.
  • Accidentally accessing inappropriate content.
  • Could be uncomfortable for students if they have no or less knowledge about the project.


Self-Assessment Questions

Exercise 3.5

  1. Define project method.
  2. State three characteristics of project methods.
  3. State two reasons why as a teacher you would choose project method over others.
  4. Give one advantage and disadvantage of project method.




 Hello dear learner! You are warmly welcomed to the sixth session of the unit 5. We will delve more into didactic teaching as we have done with the other methods of teaching. Tighten your belt as we move to the lesson.



By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  1. Define didactic teaching
  2. State any two characteristics of didactic teaching.
  3. Describe one advantage and disadvantage of didactic teaching.



6.1 Didactic teaching

didactic approach to teaching refers to a manner of instruction in which information is presented directly from the teacher to the pupil, in which the teacher selects the topic of instruction, controls instructional stimuli, obligates a response from the child, evaluates child responses, and provides reinforcement for correct responses and feedback for incorrect ones. A didactic method is a teaching method that follows a consistent scientific approach or educational style to engage the student’s mind. Didactic methods focuses on the baseline knowledge students possess and seeks to improve upon and convey this information. It also refers to the foundation or starting point in a lesson plan, where the overall goal is knowledge. A teacher or educator functions in this role as an authoritative figure, but also as both a guide and a resource for students.


Characteristics of didactic teaching

  • The teacher unlocks reality and learning is spontaneous
  • Students emancipate, free themselves from control
  • Students orientate themselves to new: learning environments
  • The teacher guides students into certain directions
  • Students make sound judgements, based on experiences
  • Students progresses: pass a subject
  • Students have opportunities to demonstrate their skills
  • Students learn to socialise and exchange ideas
  • Teacher identifies desired learning outcome and selects tasks accordingly
  • Teachers asks questions to check understanding and recall of information
  • Teacher feeds results and comments on performance back to students. Students listen to or read feedback and possibly try again
  • Students follows teacher’s plan and do pre-selected tasks as required
  • Teacher presents information for students to read, watch or listen to new learning content
  • Students try and recall information they received from teacher in order to answer questions

Advantages of didactic teaching

  • There is a greater involvement, both of the teacher and the student, in the teaching-learning processes.
  • Generates interaction dynamics in which the teacher and the group of students work together in the construction of learning.
  • Students acquire an active role, developing a sense of responsibility for their learning.
  • The development of the student’s autonomy favours the creation of their own learning strategies, which they can also apply to other similar areas, generating in them feelings of self-sufficiency and usefulness.
  • Efficiently presents a large volume of foundational knowledge.
  • Provides students a “mental break” from more intensive learning activities.
  • Is familiar to students from past learning experiences.

Disadvantages of didactic teaching

  • Often perceived as boring
  • May be viewed as irrelevant or unnecessary by students
  • Too much information is given at a time that may cause cognitive load on students
  • Lacks interactivity
  • Does not always emphasize critical thinking
  • Does not cater for all learning needs
  • Slow learners may suffer because the pace of teacher is quite fast


Self-Assessment Questions

Exercise 3.5

  1. What is didactic teaching?
  2. State four characteristics each for what teachers and students are required to do in didactic teaching.
  3. What are two advantages of didactic teaching?
  4. What is one disadvantages of didactic teaching?





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